Monday, May 30, 2011

The HRT ..... Half rectangle triangle

The best idea I've had so far regarding this new quilt for my son  (see this post to see a photo of inspiration piece) was to do a trial block. I learned a lot.

There were several reasons to make a practice block. The first was to validate the color combo was the right one - the initial thought here was Royal and Stone. After making the top half of a block in that color combo, I made the bottom half in Royal and Gray. I like this combination better.
The second reason was to help me appreciate how much fabric I will need. I do not own any design software - just graph paper, a pencil and a big eraser. With this block, I now know  I need roughly a 1/4 a yard of each color for each 12" block. The quilt has 10 blocks with lots of color changes in it.  Overall, I think I will need 6-7 yards of each color for this XL Twin quilt to fit a dorm room bed.
The final reason was to give me a sense of how difficult this would be to construct. I experimented a few times to figure how how best to make a HRT - half rectangle triangle that finished at 1 1/2 by 2 1/2.
My plan was to chain piece and trim out all these HRT ahead of time and then the assembly would be easy or at least easier.  As cute as these are, I had issues with the bottom row which required assembly of 11 pieces for a 12 inch row.  Something clearly went horribly wrong - either my seams were not all uniform width or I screwed up the cutting or both.  
If you've hung with me through this long post, thank you. I love using my blog to record my quilting progress even if only for me.

And just because I need to mix this up a bit, I've re-trimmed my Summer Breeze HST to the required 4" and had fun assembling more blocks.
Happy Stitching!

PS - if anyone has tips here to help me with this HRT challenge, send them my way.  Google suggests there may be a ruler or template that will help.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mathematical quilting

My son is off to college in the fall and I want to make a quilt for his dorm room.  School colors are blue and grey.   The challenge was which blue would go best with which grey and how do you figure that out when internet shopping?

I decided to invest in fat quarters of the different shades that looked 'right' when viewed from my computer screen.  I ordered from two different shops to increase my chances of being able to match the fabric back to the real name.

This was way harder than I anticipated.  Once all the fabric arrived, I took a photo of the fabric side by side and then attempted to map the colors back to the computer screen.  Holding the fabric to the screen yielded no match.  But laying the fabrics side by side and viewing the screen image side by side allowed for some success.  I called my daughter in for a second opinion and here is how I would label them.  (no idea why blogger rotated one and not the other.  sigh.)

(Even now when I write this blog post I second guess myself on whether I labeled this correctly!)  I'll probably go with Royal Blue and Stone but will experiment this weekend and make a block before ordering the fabric.

The quilt itself will be a very, very different from anything I have made before.

My son is very interested in math and computer science so I wanted to make a mathematical quilt.  After spending much quality time with google and several false starts on trying to map out  ideas, I settled on a fractal quilt.  This one is called a Flowsnake by Rebecca Chaky and can be  found here.   This photo is copied from her site.
I've managed to transfer my interpretation to graph paper and my job this weekend is to calculate fabric requirements and make determine after making a small sample that I won't loose my sanity while putting this together.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pinwheels, lollipop and giveaways.

My accomplishments for this week?

  • Finally finished the binding on the doll quilt for my niece whose birthday is Tuesday.   (My daughter's doll modeled the quilt - note the cast on her foot.  Poor thing!)   Fabric was Lollipop by Sandy Gervais.
  • I visited every single blog as part of SMS giveaway!  I entered about 2/3 of the giveaways and I must confess checked my email continually today to see if I won anything.  (Nothing yet.)   Hope you've all been lucky.
  • As a result of all that giveaway activity, I found a whole new fun set of blogs to follow.
  • My own giveaway generated 849 comments!!  I was excited and humbled by all the wonderful comments from all corners of the world!
  • I gained a slew of additional followers - Welcome to everyone and hope you enjoy the visit.
Congratulations to Millie from Ireland for winning my Max and Whiskers fat quarter and mini charm pack.  Millie, I've sent you an email.  

Thanks to Sew Mama Sew for once again organizing this amazing days of giveaways!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A new puppy - GIVEAWAY

OK, so it really isn't a new puppy.  I do have some cute fabric.

So happy to be participating in Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day.

I love to quilt and carve out time most weekends to make progress on my many projects.  You can see a list of my finished in my sidebar.  Please come visit me again.  I really enjoy all the friends I've made in quilting blog land.

My prize is a fat quarter of Max and Whiskers and a mini charm pack.
Two chances to enter:

  1. Leave a comment and tell me today's weather.  (Just to keep those comments interesting!)
  2. Become a follower and leave me a comment to tell me you did.
Winner will be notified by email.  If you are a no-reply blogger and there isn't an email address, I will choose another winner.

Giveaway closes Wednesday, May 25 at midnight (EST).

Go check out the rest of the blog giveaways!
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Times flies

Big day today.

My son - my oldest - graduates from high school.

I still remember the first day he boarded the school bus with his yellow backpack!

I am so proud of him.  He works hard, gets great grades and is a super big brother to his two sisters.
I suspect I'll shed a few tears today.

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

FSNI results

I was able to carve some fun time for FNSI.   I am trying my first Moda Bake Shop recipe for a jewel box quilt using my Summer Breeze Layer Cake.

I'd already assembled 164 HST blocks - they all needed to be trimmed.  So I took advantage of a warm evening and spent some pleasant time on my back porch and trimmed about 3/4 of them to 4 1/2 inches.  I was then anxious to get sewing so I decided to get some of it assembled and continue the trimming process on the remainder later.

To the sewing machine I go, wine glass in hand.

Really liking the results.

Put some of the completed blocks on my design wall floor.  The fun ended,  My HST blocks were noticeably larger than the patch blocks.  (Didn't help that my wine glass was empty either.)

How could this be?  I took such care to measure and trim.

Check that recipe.  Oh, was supposed to trim the HST blocks to 4 inches.


Looking to be a nice day today so suspect I'll be out on my back porch, seam ripper in hand.  And then start trimming again.  Sigh.

Hope your FNSI was a bit more productive.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, May 16, 2011

7 Flowers

I am the oldest of 7 kids - all girls.  All of us are mothers.  To celebrate Mother's Day, I made my mom this mini-quilt.  Each of the leaves - 16 in all - represents the children each of us have had.  
I had so much fun making this quilt and really just love the way that it turned out.  I fused all the applique pieces and then attached them in place with a running stitch.  I like the slightly frayed look the flowers now have.  A few lines to define the grass and a couple of clouds in the sky finished it off.
Fabric used was from Lollipop by Sandy Gervais.  Label (with 7 'happys') from Sweetwater label club.
Love you Mom!

This was the post that 'got away' when blogger had all those issues.  May be a repeat for some.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sunny Days of Summer

I'm thrilled to be part of  Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival - the first time I've participated.
My entry is my latest quilt, binding just attached last night.  I call this quilt Sunny Days of Summer and it is made from Sweetwater Sunkissed fabric line.   My favorite block is a star (with pinwheel not all that far behind) so when I cracked open my layer cake, I set out to make a star from each layer cake piece that would show contrast with the white.  I really created this quilt as I went - experimenting and creating.   If you look carefully, the stars are all nested together and then are exploding out - exploding out to demonstrate how I feel when the long hours of daylight arrive in the summer.
This was quilted by Cathy Kirk and the quilting design is called Shadow - cool choice both for the name and the effect it gives the quilt.
If this is your first visit to my blog, I hope you will subscribe to my blog and return to join me on my quilting journey.   I've been blogging for 6 months.  While I've been quilting for about 10 years, it has become a bigger part of my life in the last 6 years.  I quilt as much as I can and enjoy projects big and small.
Now make some time to go check out some more quilts!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Garden

I carved some time out on Mother's Day weekend for a bit of sewing.  

I have 4 quilts in flight and am busy planning my 5th.  I seem to be working on them all at the same time.

The first is a patriotic themed quilt I tend to us as my leader and ender.  I do need to invest some time to get the next pieces stacked up so I can make progress. The idea here is all different kind of stars.
The second is a BOM from Fat Quarter Shop using the 12 Days of Christmas fabric.  I am way behind on this one - pieced 4 of the blocks.  6 of them are all cut and ready to go so I'll fit those in. eventually. (no photos)

The third is my 'just because' quilt using Make Life.  I've the blocks done but still debating the setting.  (Need to get one of those design walls.)
The final one is a quilt using Summer Breeze.  Made about 200 HST.  Now need to press and trim.
And, finally, my other garden.  I've a small area in front of my house that I gave some attention to last weekend.  Everything seems to be doing well but we've still the hot, dry NC summer ahead of us.
For inspiration (inspiration for my mini garden), here is a photo of the beautiful garden my neighbor has.  The best part of her garden is I can sit on my front porch rocker and enjoy without any effort on my part whatsoever!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Did you ever hear the logic that food or more specifically desert is free of calories if you don't have to pay for it?

Wouldn't that be wonderful if it were true?

Even better would be if similar logic applied to fabric. Maybe fabric bought simply to drool over with absolutely no purpose in mind would be free? Or maybe cheap?

I only ask because I've drooling, hoarding and stockpiling.

First, I made a gift for my mom (which I will post on a future date) and I found myself using the solids from the Lollipop line. The colors were so much fun. Of course then I had to have more, and more. So a nice box arrived in my mail today with a rainbow inside.
Perhaps the logic that best applies here is you can never have just one. Like a potato chip. Or a piece of cake. Or yummy fabric that comes in wonderful colors of the rainbow.

Happy Stitching!.

PS Sew Mama Sew is coordinating bloggers for another massive giveaway day.  I had so much fun the last time that I plan to participate again.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day

Welcome to May!  Has anyone seen where April went?

I picked up my Sunny Days of Summer quilt from my long arm quilter - Cathy Kirk - yesterday.  Once again, she did an amazing job.  Full photo shoot coming to the blog after I attach the binding.  For now, look at this yummy quilting.  (The fabric is Sunkissed by Sweetwater.)

Did you catch the royal wedding?  I had a 6am flight on Friday that got delayed so much that I was able to watch the wedding.  30 years ago (yes, I am that old) I watched Dianna get married.  I thought it was a beautiful wedding and thought they managed a few private moments amongst the fanfare.

Finally, congratulations to Melinda from Georgia who won the 2 mini charm packs of Sherbet Pips.  I really enjoyed having a mini giveaway to celebrate 6 months of blogging.  It was great to get comments from different places in the world!

Happy Stitching!